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Christmas will be tough for families still struggling after Hurricane Ida

Impacts from Ida still felt across Louisiana
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST
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LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - To say this year has been tough for families in South Louisiana would be an understatement.

Families are still reeling from Hurricane Ida. Many homes look as bad as they did the day the storm rolled through.

“This is going to be the hardest Christmas of my life,” said Cail Winder, whose trailer had a tree fall through it.

Winder was in a financial bind before the storm, the tree falling on his home just made it worse. He said FEMA will not offer any assistance, his property is still in his mother’s name and she died several years ago.

“I don’t have nothing else,” Winder said. “I can’t do anything. I just got my S.S.I, my disability, so what do I do?”

About a mile away, the Poche’s home is destroyed as well. Like Winder, a tree fell through the middle of their house.

“I feel like we’ve just been in a rabbit hole of problem, problem, problem, problem, problem and it’s just been one thing after another,” Suzy Poche said.

As with Winder, the Poche’s have not received any money from FEMA. They are disputing the disaster agency’s claim their trailer is not a total loss. They are currently living in a rental home waiting for the situation to be resolved.

“Other people have been affected far worse,” she said. “So, I really try not to be a brat and say we need this, but...”

As the problems go unresolved though, Christmas is looming.

“This has just really financially set us back, physically, mentally, emotionally, and it’s really taken a toll,” Poche said.

Both families say they just hope for a miracle and new homes for Christmas.

“God does give beauty through ashes but I really wish I could see the end result, that would help me a lot, but I know that’s not how faith works. It’d be really, really cool if it did,” Poche said.

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